Valley Congressman Tim Ryan made it official on ABC’s “The View” — he’s running for president.
Thursday, he announced his candidacy, saying this country has been divided for a long time, and he wants to unite people.
“We can’t get anything done, and I believe that, you know, we’re not always gonna like each other, but we need to respect each other, and if we respect each other, we can unify the country and move forward, and I believe I can do that,” he said.
Ryan told the audience a story of a recent tearful phone call he had with his step-daughter.
“Her friend was crying to her. Her dad just got transferred at the local General Motors plant. The kids had to move, and my daughter called me and she said, “You gonna do something?’ and I said, “I’m gonna do something, and I’m gonna run for president of the United States, and we’re gonna make sure this doesn’t happen anymore,” he said.
Ryan joins an already large crowd seeking the Democratic nomination. There are currently 16 candidates, not including former Vice President Joe Biden who has hinted at a run.
Ryan is a nine-term congressman from Howland. He unsuccessfully challenged California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for House Minority Leader in 2016.
Dave Betras, the head of Mahoning County’s Democratic Party, believes that Ryan is in this race to win it, saying a lot can happen between now and the primaries and caucuses next year.
He said right now, it’s too early to know how it will all turn out.
“Everyone thought Donald Trump would lose the presidency, and he won, so look, when you’re in the game, you can catch the ball and you can run for a touchdown,” he said. “He’s in the game.”
Dan Polivka, chairman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party, is excited about the idea of Ryan running.
“It’s great for our area and brings attention to it,” he said. “Who knows? Anything is possible with hard work and God’s blessings.”
Despite the crowded field, Ryan said he believes he can set himself apart from the already-announced candidates that some in the media are already calling front-runners.
“People can say whatever they want. They can do whatever they want. You are not gonna take my focus off of why I’m in this race, why I got into public service in the first place. It’s because I want to help people,” he said.
Ryan, who is married and father to three admits that the hardest part of running a campaign like this will be having to be away from his family for long periods of time.
“I love being with my family, but I also care very, very much about their futures, and we decided as a family that we’re gonna take this shot together,” he said.
It’s a shot that will take a lot of money, and others have already grabbed a big head start.
Ryan said he’ll focus on spreading his message — and raising money — online and through social media.
A local rally is also planned at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Youngstown Business Incubator, where Ryan will address residents about his campaign.
“I’m just a kid from the Valley that happens to be in this position where I think I could make a difference and so I wanted to do something special back home,” he said.